I’m Going Back To Old Kentucky #52

From October 1, 2010 through to the end of September 2011, we will, each day, celebrate the life of Bill Monroe by sharing information about him and those people who are associated with his life and music career. This information will include births and deaths; recording sessions; single, LP and CD release dates; and other interesting tidbits. Richard F. Thompson is responsible for the research and compilation of this information. We invite readers to share any tidbits, photos or memories you would like us to include.

  • November 21, 1988 Final divorce decree was granted to Della Scivers Streeter Monroe. Her marriage to Bill Monroe lasted less than four years.
  • November 21, 1995 Homer Robert “Jim” Eanes died, age 71, at Blue Ridge Rehabilitation Center in Martinsville, Virginia. He succumbed to heart and lung complications following a long illness. *

* As a nine-year old Jim Eanes bought his first guitar and shortly thereafter he began playing in a family band. From there he progressed to playing with Roy Hall and the Blue Ridge Entertainers, working at station WDBJ in Roanoke, Virginia.

After a very brief spell with the newly-formed Foggy Mountain Boys, he was hired by Bill Monroe for whom he worked for about eight months.

In 1951 Eanes founded the Shenandoah Valley Boys with whom he recorded 15 titles for Blue Ridge label. The following year he signed for Decca Records cutting 30 songs during six recording sessions.

Between 1956 and 1965 he recorded for Starday Records. Then during the 1980s he had several albums on the Rebel label.

In 1968 Eanes joined the Tennessee Cutups (Reno & Smiley’s old group) and with formed Billy Edwards (banjo), Hershel Sizemore (mandolin), Tater Tate (fiddle), John Palmer (bass) the Shenandoah Cutups.

In a professional music career extending over 50 years he overcame the disadvantage of a severely burned his left hand, an injury that he incurred at the age of two. Eanes suffered a heart attack in 1978 and in 1992 he was diagnosed as having Emphysema.

He will be forever linked with songs such as Your Old Standby, In His Arms I’m Not Afraid, Missing in Action, I Cried Again, Little Brown Hand, Wiggle Worm Wiggle and Rose Garden Waltz.

Jimmy Eanes, Jim’s son, maintains a tribute website at www.jimeanes.com.

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About the Author

Richard Thompson

Richard F. Thompson is a long-standing free-lance writer specialising in bluegrass music topics. A two-time Editor of British Bluegrass News, he has been seriously interested in bluegrass music since about 1970. As well as contributing to that magazine, he has, in the past 30 plus years, had articles published by Country Music World, International Country Music News, Country Music People, Bluegrass Unlimited, MoonShiner (the Japanese bluegrass music journal) and Bluegrass Europe. He wrote the annotated series I'm On My Way Back To Old Kentucky, a daily memorial to Bill Monroe that culminated with an acknowledgement of what would have been his 100th birthday, on September 13, 2011.